The lower and middle sections of the Big Hole are open and fishing well. The river is still frozen above Dickie Bridge, but all of the water downriver from the bridge is ice-free and floatable. Most of the boat traffic has been from Melrose to Browne’s or Browne’s to Glen, but there have been a few boats that have been fishing in the canyon. Whether its been nymphing or throwing a “Dry/Dropper”, a San Juan Worm has been the most productive fly this week. We have been getting trout to come up and eat skwalla patterns, but more fish have been eating the red worm. Also, on the warmer days, slow stripping yellow and brown streamers has been pretty productive.
Cold temperatures are in the forecast for the rest of the week. This past weekend we had one nice warm day that tempted people to get the dust off the boat. High temperatures the rest of the week are in the 30’s with some snow in the forecast. The Big Hole is floatable from Melrose down stream. Water temperatures are in the lower 30’s and the trout are in their winter holes. Nymphing the deep tail outs is going to be the best tactic right now. Nymphs of choice are Pat’s Stones in size #8 , San Juan Worms, and midges. Our Big Hole River guides are ready for the Spring Skwala fishing in April. When reports improve we will let you know. The ice is off the Glen gauge and we are recording a Big Hole River flow of 652 cfs in Glen.
The Montana snowpack remains above average and the Big Hole snowpack continues to climb. Currently the Big Hole snowpack has a snow/water content of 132% and a total precipitation of 106% of normal for this date in time. With these numbers it is shaping up to be an excellent July and August on the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers. Our Big Hole River guides are tying flies and gearing up for the Spring Skwala hatch, which hits the Big Hole in early April.
Our Big Hole river fly shop is carrying many new products this year. We have new gear from Patagonia, Simms, Scott Fly Rods and Scientific Anglers. One of the products that we are excited about is the new SharkWave Fly line from Scientific Anglers. This product has not hit the market yet so we have not reviewed it. We will be receiving the Shark Wave fly line on April 1st in our Big Hole River fly shop.
The SharkWave fly line combines the best elements of Scientific Anglers textured line technologies and the traditional smooth fly lines. The textured Sharkskin fly lines came out in 2007 and brought fly line technology to the industry that we had never seen before. The Sharkskin fly line has increased surface area to allow the line to sit higher in the water, and with less drag. The micro-textured surface traps air, which allows increased shootability and flotation while decreasing friction. After the Sharksin fly line Scientific Anglers came out with the Mastery Textured series fly lines. These lines took the great qualities of the Sharkskin line and combined it with a more easy feel of traditional, smooth fly lines, which results in a textured line that is smoother to the touch than Sharkskin.
Scientific Anglers now has taken the Textured Series fly lines and combined the qualities of the Sharkskin fly line to come up with the first triple textured fly lines called the SharkWave fly line. The SharkWave is also the first triple colored fly line in the industry. This fly line should have a friction free feel with unparalleled floatation. We will have feed back in April on this fly line when our Big Hole River guides test it out. It sounds like the ultimate trout line for Southwest Montana.